I need a camera for time lapse photography

Discussion in 'Photography' started by e.david6, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. e.david6

    e.david6 Guest

    I'm very interested in photographing meteor showers. I live in
    Scotland. Where I live has a lot of light pollution, but an area a
    few miles from my home is very good for viewing the night sky. What I
    want to do is leave a camera outside all night and have it
    automatically take long exposure photos all night. I would like it to
    start taking photos at say 6pm and finish just before sunrise, about
    6am. Is there a camera out there that has a programmable scheduler
    for exposures.
    e.david6, Dec 11, 2007
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  2. e.david6

    Joel Guest

    A specific digital camera designed for this specific need then probaly
    none (or at least none to feed out budget), *BUT* an external device then
    probably YES.

    And Google is probably your best friend .. unless we have some member here
    owns that beast.
    Joel, Dec 11, 2007
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  3. One option - get a good digital video camera (like any of the Sony's)
    and program it to shoot one second burst every 30 seconds (check the
    operators manual - it's easy).

    I've done just that to create stop-motion video of storm development -
    should work fine with meteor showers as well.
    AxisOfBeagles, Dec 11, 2007
  4. e.david6

    Frank Arthur Guest

    In addition to a Digital Camera you would need an Intervalometer. The
    can be set for as many seconds, minutes or hour intervals to
    automatically record your images.
    You determine the interval. These battery operated units are generally
    Chinese made and sold at about $100(US) including shipping. I find
    mine very dependable.
    Frank Arthur, Dec 11, 2007
  5. e.david6

    ray Guest

    How long? The Kodak P series, for example, allows shutter speeds to be set
    as long as 16 seconds. They also have a 'time lapse burst' mode which
    allows up to 100 pictures at intervals of 10 seconds to 24 hours. Don't
    know how long exposures would work with the time lapse, as I've never
    tried that. The P series has been discontinued, but you can sometimes
    still find them refurb at the Kodak online store.
    ray, Dec 11, 2007
  6. e.david6

    Ken Hart Guest

    Just to get terminology correct-- do you mean "time lapse" where you take a
    series of photos over a period of time, or a time exposure where you take
    one picture with a long exposure.

    If you want to take time lapse photos, you will need to fire the shutter at
    require intervals. Perhaps you could rig up some mechanism with a cam wheel
    that fires the shutter with each revolution.

    If you want to take time exposures, just lock the shutter open for the

    In either case, don't forget the sturdy tripod.
    Ken Hart, Dec 12, 2007
  7. e.david6

    Burt Johnson Guest

    I have a Canon 5D with a remote that does all sorts of exotic time lapse
    controls. The remote is about $150.

    So far, I have only done some primitive tests with it, and it seems to
    work exactly as advertised. We will be going to Yosemite this weekend
    on a photo jaunt for our 35th anniversary, and I hope to shot some star
    circles, among other thngs while there (We live overlooking the San
    Francisco Bay, which has so much light polution that I can barely see
    any stars at all)
    Burt Johnson, Dec 12, 2007
  8. e.david6

    Joel Guest

    Well, it seems like we get another dead OP <bg>
    Joel, Dec 12, 2007
  9. e.david6

    e.david6 Guest

    Not dead, just doing what someone suggested and searching google. I
    found a nifty little device that could form the basis of what I'm
    after, the Neuros MPEG4 Video Recorder 2.

    I guess time lapse is the wrong way to describe it. I would like the
    camera to take continuous long exposures.

    Whatever I end up with, I'll need to conceal it somehow as there are
    many dog walkers in my area and I can just imagine them sniffing out
    my equipment in the bushes and saying "look what I've found".

    I'm thinking about a large plastic bucket sunk into the ground with
    glass on top. I have a spare car battery and could use an inverter to
    power everything.
    e.david6, Dec 12, 2007
  10. e.david6

    Joel Guest

    Glad to see you back! as in general most people would like to know the

    Video Recorder? so it isn't digital camera but video camera? if video
    then it would be vey simple as you just turn on the video and lets it record
    everything overnite.

    Digital camera (or film camera) then you may need a decide to auto shutter
    every ## seconds or so. I don't remember the exact link but in the past
    several years I have run into several link about these devices.
    There was a gentleman at www.dpreview.com uses his Canon digital camera to
    capture the golden bridge, and it take a shot every ## seconds by itself
    automatically. I don't remember he mentioned using any device, but he was
    talking about the memory size.
    I don't think you will need flash so it won't be easy to spot a tiny
    Are you talking about "VIDEO camera" or "Digital camera"?. It seems like
    you are talking about "Video Camera", and about the power for video camera,
    sure you can

    - Run a long extension cord to your front/back-yard

    - Yup! you can use car battery, the portable Battery Jump Start with DC-AC

    It sounds like you are talking about VIDEO camera?
    Joel, Dec 12, 2007
  11. e.david6

    e.david6 Guest

    I could go with video camera or still image camera and combine the
    still images to make a video. The probem with video cameras is low
    light sensitivity. Is there a portable video camera that is as
    sensitive as a low light sony monochrome hyperhad CCTV camera? I read
    somewhere that colour CCDs are as blind as bats at night. I would be
    happy to go with a Canon D series camera is there was some way to set
    the camera to begin taking a series of long exposures at a certain
    time and stop at a certain time.
    e.david6, Dec 12, 2007
  12. e.david6

    e.david6 Guest

    Just came across this: http://www.c-h-a-o-s.com/2007/06/12/diy-how-to-build-a-camcorder/

    I'll have a go at making one of these.
    e.david6, Dec 12, 2007
  13. e.david6

    Joel Guest


    OK, so it's one of the Canon DSLR ##D camera. So, as I have mentioned
    there should be some device hooked to your digital camera to do everything
    automatically for you.

    I read too many to remember all small detail for everything I read, from
    home-made device to commercial decice to do so many different things.
    Joel, Dec 12, 2007
  14. e.david6

    Joel Guest

    Joel, Dec 12, 2007
  15. e.david6

    Chris Hills Guest

    In message

    I think the new Nikon D300 can do this. There was a video report on
    it somewhere (UTube I think) that mentioned the timer and time lapse
    Chris Hills, Dec 12, 2007
  16. e.david6

    Paul Furman Guest

    Ha... e.david is playing... having fun :)
    The problem with that setup I see is the security camera (like just
    about any video camera) is probably a pretty small sensor so the old
    35mm lenses become super telephoto and wide angle is not possible. Maybe
    not, I think the Red cams are pretty high res.
    Paul Furman, Dec 13, 2007
  17. e.david6

    Paul Furman Guest

    I've done a bunch of time lapse with my D200, it has an intervalometer
    though it's limited to 999 frames (and probably 30 second exposures?).
    There are pocket digitals with similar features, usually used to set up
    a group portrait where it fires off a dozen frames but this is basically
    the same setup, just set it to do one frame per interval.

    A P&S camera may not perform well for long exposures (at least the older
    models didn't) and a DSLR will need tons of battery backup.

    For P&S the (I forget its name... firmware hack) should provide all you
    Paul Furman, Dec 13, 2007
  18. e.david6

    Joel Guest

    That's what I guess, because there are plenty of video cameras already
    made ready to use, and cheaper than putting all broken parts together to. I
    have thought about the cheap security camera, but I think a regular cemera
    would do. But I don't know why have to go through all trouble to buy a
    build a video camera just to record it one night.

    Or to me just few minutes is plenty.
    Joel, Dec 13, 2007
  19. e.david6

    e.david6 Guest

    But I have a Computar 8mm lens f0.8 that I can put on a security
    camera. Yes, having lots of fun with the gadgets out there.
    e.david6, Dec 13, 2007
  20. e.david6

    Paul Furman Guest

    Check out the star trails near the end of this:

    He has some info on the setup in other videos that you would enjoy.
    Paul Furman, Dec 13, 2007
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